Rowland Berigan Bernard "Bunny" (Hilbert1908 - november 2, New York 2 June 1942) was an American jazz trumpeter from the swing era. He was at that time in addition to Louis Armstrong and the trumpeter Roy Eldridge .


[hide]*1 the beginning

The beginning[Edit]Edit

Bunny Berigan was a musical prodigy, that early on violin and piano played. He played in local orchestras and applied in 1928 or 1929 as a trumpet player at Hal Kemp, who rejected him. In 1930, however, Kemp took him and took him on tour of Europe. Also followed recordings. From 1931 he was a much sought after studio musician and he played in various orchestras, for recordings, radio broadcasts, and Broadway shows. He worked in Paul Whiteman 's band (end 1932, 1933), Abe Lyman (1934) and especially the CBSOrchestra of Fred Rich (until 1935). He also played with the latter Orchestra in 1934 in a short film, ' Mirrors '.


He had a great reputation as a soloist. In 1935, he played several months in the Benny Goodman's band. He soloed on two plates of Goodman, ' King Porter Stomp "and" Sometimes I'm Happy ", which had great success: it was the first hits for Goodman. With his band went on the tour through Berigan also the American West, which ended in the famous gig in Palomar BallroomLos Angeles, that is seen as the beginning of the swing era. Also in that same year he played Glenn Miller, who had his first Orchestra. Miller made his first recordings as a leader with Berigan. Berigan again then went do studio work, including Billie Holiday. In 1936, he joined Tommy Dorsey 's band and delivered two hits on his game Dorsey: ' Marie ' and ' Song of India '.

Own Orchestra[Edit]Edit

Berigan In 1937 began a private Orchestra, which was not very successful in financial terms, although he quickly had a hit with the classic ' I Can't Get Started "(a composition of Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke) and there were good musicians in the band (such as Georgie Auld and Buddy Rich). The group performed regularly in the CBS radio show ' Saturday Night Swing Club '. However, remained from the large successes and Berigan had trouble to run tape. It led to an aggravation of his drinking problem. In 1939 he was bankrupted and forced his Orchestra cloths. He went back to work in March 1940 Tommy Dorsey, with which he accompanied Frank Sinatra on recordings. However, trouble again had a sideman Berigan and tried it again with its own (small) band. He, however, continued drinking and his health quickly went backwards. In the spring of 1942 he was with pneumonia admitted in a hospital in Pittsburgh, where cirrhosis of the liver was found. Berigan, however, warnings to stop drinking and playing in the wind and went back to New York. He died there on June 2, 1942 to internal hemorrhaging.

His 1937 version of "I Can't get Started" was used in a number of films: 'Save the Tiger' (1973), 'Chinatown' (from Roman Polanski, 1974) and the short film 'The Big Shave' ( Martin Scorsese's, 1967). Fox Lake holds since the early 1970s an annual ' Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee '.


  • The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Bunny Berigan, Parlophone Sessions (recordings 1931-1935), Mosaic
  • The Pied Piper 1934-1940, Bluebird/RCA
  • Bunny berigan and His Boys 1935-1936, Classics
  • Bunny Berigan and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (radio recordings 1936), Fanfare
  • Sing! Sing! Sing! volume 1, 1936-1938 (Bunny Berigan and the Rhythm makers), Jass
  • Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra 1937-1938, Classics
  • Classic Tracks (recordings 1937-1939), Kaz
  • Bunny Berigan Plays Again, RCA Victor
  • Bunny Berigan Plays Bix (songs of Bix Beiderbecke), RCA


  • Michael p. Zirpolo: Mr. Trumpet: The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Bunny Berigan (Studies in Jazz, 64). Scarecrow Press, 2011.
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